Village Way’s gap-year leadership program for women, called IsraElite, cited for outstanding volunteer efforts.

Village Way’s gap-year leadership program for young women, called IsraElite, received the 2018 Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Efforts. The award honored IsraElite participants for their dedication and volunteer efforts in the Migdal HaEmek community, the northern Israeli town where the program is located. (Photo: IsraElite members celebrate Ethiopian holiday of Sigd.)

This honor cited participants’ willingness to help a broad spectrum of residents of Migdal HaEmek, including seniors, youth, families and those with special needs.

Leadership program for at-risk young women provides a chance to thrive

IsraElite is a gap-year preparatory program which empowers young women from immigrant and at-risk backgrounds with leadership skills necessary for successful mandatory military service, and to thrive in the civilian life that follows. IsraElite provides participants with the chance to focus on personal development, their place in Israeli society and opportunities for a productive future.

Additionally, there is a strong focus on Tikkun Olam (Hebrew for healing the world through social justice). Twice a week, the women participate in community service opportunities throughout the city, as well as larger-scale service programs throughout the year.

“Taking action on behalf of the other is a central part of our program,” said Anat Steiner, IsraElite Director.  “This is drawn from our educational outlook that leadership flourishes from a place of giving to others and in the belief that in every act of giving, there is great growth for the recipient and the one who is giving.”

Volunteering builds community, leadership

IsraElite’s volunteer opportunities are spread over a wide range of activities sponsored by the Midgal HaEmek community. This includes after-school clubs for children, programs for seniors, services for underserved families and other vulnerable populations.

Moreover, IsraElite also partners in the production of annual Sigd celebrations in the larger community centers and schools. These celebrations offer an opportunity to teach local students about the culture and traditions of the Ethiopian Israeli community.

Click here to learn about the Village Way’s gap-year leadership program for young men.

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